Sanlúcar de Barrameda: the wine, the cuisine, the people

We are now back from holiday. We have replenished our strength to finish the year, but we have also taken advantage of the break to get to know a little more about some of the areas that we like the most, the wine in particular, but also the cuisine. This year, it was Sanlúcar de Barrameda and its surrounding area.


Sanlúcar is one of those cities in which wine is lived and breathed. The city is covered in posters for wineries and you can smell wine in the streets because the wineries are interspersed with the houses. This is not to mention the scents of food, bay leaves, spices and frying feasts… with an unrivalled setting, Doñana.

In summer, Sanlúcar’s population triples. Plaza Cabildo is packed with people, the terraces are full and the tables even more so, with fried shrimp fritters, fried cuttlefish, ortiguillas, seasoned potatoes and an endless number of traditional delicacies from the Sanlucan kitchens. El Bajo de Guía and the famous Casa Bigote spill over, serving their stunning freshly cooked langostinos. The streets are full of life, although in the Barrio Alto, everything is slower and more deliberate. The Sanlucans that spend the whole year here always love to relax in the bar, chatting with their friends and a glass of Manzanilla sherry in hand. Each neighbourhood and each block has its own personality, making it a peculiar city with a high level of attraction.

For the wine lovers, Jerez is a genuine treasure, and one of its epicentres is the Taberna Der Guerrita. Armando Guerra is a mover and shaker of Jerez wines. In his bar, you can find an abundance of spectacular wines, unfiltered Manzanillas, Pasada, Amontillada, Palo Cortado and an endless number of gems. But the wine cellar also has to be visited, a little shop with true jewels of the Jerez variety, in which sinning is inevitable. To one side, there is a tasting room where, every summer, they present the most distinguished Spanish wine list and hold some unforgettable wine-tasting events.
By traversing the city’s tabernas, you can surrender to the charms of the city, in their mini vintages you can find spectacular unfiltered manzanillas, incredibly old amontillados and memorable moscatels. All you need to do is go there and explore. It is the magic of the place that makes Sanlúcar so wonderful.

Making the most of being in Sanlúcar, we couldn’t squander the opportunity to visit some wineries:

Callejuela: This fairly new winery was founded in 1980 by the Blanco brothers. They have 28 hectares spread out over different estates: Macharnudo and Añina in Jerez, and Hornillos and Callejuela in Sanlúcar. Their winery has been built between their vineyards on the Callejuela estate, a physical manifestation showing that the wine comes from the vineyard. We had a memorable evening. We walked through their vineyards and tested musts and different barrels after visiting the different estates. Then we went down to the winery and were able to try the different Soleras and Criaderas, from the Callejuela Manzanilla Fina, ideal with an appetiser due to its dry, fruity character, to the Callejuela Amontillado, a magnificent balance between ageing and the environment that goes perfectly with cheese from the local area. It was a true pleasure to spend time with people whose way of life revolves around the vineyard and the wine.

Colosía: This winery is situated in the Puerto de Santa María and, therefore, the wine aged within the winery is marketed as Fino. The winery was founded in 1838 and can be found in the mouth of the Guadalete River, where all the wineries used to be located because of the unique conditions of humidity and temperature. These conditions turned out to be perfect for ageing wine under a cap of ‘flor’ yeast. At the moment, it is managed by the Gutiérrez-Colosía family. It is a spectacular winery, like the former Jerez wineries, with the same characteristic architecture. They have been making wines here since 1838, first as warehousemen and then as a commercial enterprise. We visited the winery and were able to try the whole wine range, of which their Solera Familiars stood out, as was to be expected. All of their wines have a great authenticity, but their Solera Familiars stand above the rest for being more concentrated and full of sapidity. We highlight Colosía Palo Cortado Solera de la Familia with a more than 50 year old vintage, and Colosía Pedro Ximenez Solera de la Familia (the sweet version), which has a salty taste at the end due its years spent ageing. These were fantastic wines that we enjoyed with Carmen, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Colosía’s mother; she was charming and full of energy.

Bodegas Alonso: The old Pedro Romero winery entered into an agreement with creditors and the Asencio brothers bought it a year ago. Nowadays, they are restoring the winery architecturally and they are going to go ahead in producing a young Manzanilla called ‘velo de flor’ as a tribute to the old wines that the winery used to keep, the great legacy that they still have today in their facilities. We were given the opportunity to try some of these wines, from the Amontillados to the Olorosos and the Palo Cortados. Special mention goes to the wines stored by Gaspar Florido and his famous Ánsar Reals 25 and 30. They are probably between 55 and 80 years old, they keep ageing because they aren’t bottled; they are endless and drinkable wines, and a great legacy of the Jerez style of wine that go beyond the traditional taste.

In conclusion, we returned from Sanlúcar with the idea that this is an essential city that everyone should visit in order to discover the great treasures that can be found between its streets, bars and wineries.

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